Tetris Championship via Twitter
Jonas Neubauer, considered by many to be the greatest Tetris player of all time, died at the age of 39 due to a sudden medical emergency, he announced on his Twitter account.
With a heavy heart we have to announce the terrible news that Jonas died as a result of a sudden medical emergency.
He was the best. We’re devastated, overwhelmed with grief, and we miss him so much already.
In a statement, Shaknews Vince Clemente of the classic Tetris World Championship team said that Neubauer was an absolute pillar of positivity and humility… He was friendly, sincere, funny, incredibly talented and a brilliant ambassador for the game.
Many share their compassion:
It’s a great loss in many ways. Jonas Neubauer was one of the greatest classic Tetris players of all time in terms of skill, humour and friendliness.
Our condolences go out to his family and friends, as well as to the entire Classic Tetris community, as we all mourn his passing. https://t.co/iOJWFdBuv0
– Tetris (@Tetris_Official) 9. January 2021
We are very pleased to announce that Jonas Neubauer, 7 times CTWC champion, will participate in the 4th edition. Janvier died suddenly.
We couldn’t ask for a better champion, a better role model, a better friend. Jonas, we miss you, we love you and thank you for inspiring us to always do our best. Rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/CaaGgd4ZY3
– 8. Championship Tetris (@ClassicTetris) January 2021
We are saddened by the death of Jonas Neubauer, the Tetris World Champion. I always liked talking to him…. a great actor who made people laugh. @Tetris_Official pic.twitter.com/SHEJUbSg24
– Patrick Scott Patterson (@OriginalPSP) 9. January 2021
We are deeply saddened by the sudden death of @neubsauce. I only met him once, but he was a very nice man who was passionate about all the games, from Tetris to chess and much more. RIP Jonas pic.twitter.com/GGdgZUanwV
– 8. Hikaru Nakamura (@GMHikaru) 9. Hikaru Nakamura (@GMHikaru) January 2021
Jonas Neubauer was seven times world champion in classic Tetris. He was a faithful son, a great husband, a loyal friend and an ambassador for the only sport I am interested in. I can’t believe he’s gone. https://t.co/Auxih39e7z
– Chris Higgins (@chrishiggins) 9. January 2021
I’m very sad to hear of Jonas Neubauer’s death. He’s the reason why me and a lot of other people like to play Tetris. The greatest champion this community could ever have dreamed of. My sincere condolences to his wife and all his loved ones. I’m really sorry. He’ll be sorely missed.
– 8. Zak Ebrahim (@ZakEbrahim) 9. Zak Ebrahim (@ZakEbrahim) January 2021
It’s an evolutionary story.
1. Neubauer has seven world titles in the classic Tetris
Tetris 101 with Jonas NeubauerListen to the Tetris base stack at level 9 to show the good basics that lead to high scores. – Watch the live feed on https://www.twitch.tv/nubbinsgoody2017-11-08T23:19:33Z.
Neubauer was seven times world champion in classic Tetris. Won in 2010 (the first year of the competition), 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
The championship contacted Neubauer after posting a video on YouTube of him playing Tetris with a maximum score of 999,999, he said in an interview with Shacknews in 2019.
Neubauer has regularly broadcast the game on his Twitch channel and has placed gameplay clips on his YouTube channel. He told Shacknews that the pressure to win has increased over the years as a poor performance could cause him to lose fans.
When asked what he had done to make up for a difficult loss, he answered: That’s exactly what he did:
You have to remember that this is a game. And the people you’re playing against are big competitors. There’s not much bitter rivalry, so if anyone beats me, I encourage them immediately. I just want to see everybody shine. At the end of the day I enjoyed playing Tetris in such an atmosphere. I know what victory means to me, and I want everyone to feel the same way.
2. He played Tetris since he was nine years old.
Neubauer’s been playing Tetris since he was nine, he told Shacknews.
Neubauer bought the game with his own money. He said his first game experience with Tetris was when he played against his father.
He told Rolling Stone that he first played this game on his Uncle Bill McIntosh’s computer in 1985.
It’s the first video game I’ve ever played, and it did something to my brain in a way: Okay, now I understand what you need to survive. So now we’re going to take that whole part of your brain and dedicate it to the most amazing things that are happening right now, Neubauer said.
He remembers scoring 176,000 points, which was really good for a nine-year-old. He got stuck on level 19 and only played at that level until high school.
It was so disturbing that I cried and got angry, he said. The controller I used at the 2010 tournament had bite marks from my 12-year-old grandson, because you get to the point where you bite the controller. It was a strange masochistic impulse.
Then, in early 2000, he posted a photo of his 980K score in Tetris on an internet discussion forum, although he was accused of cheating. Then he placed a photo where he got the highest score.
He told the publication that he trains half an hour a day. He also said that the best way to become Tetris World Champion is to lose weight after winning.
I’ve lost a lot of weight since my first victory, he said. Every time you win a championship, you lose about 40 pounds. It’s a nice thing to tell at parties and stuff.
2. He accidentally set the world record with 300K points in Tetris.
Random 300k [old] world recordBought the record for 100 lines… …but got the world record for 300,000 points. https://www.speedrun.com/tetrisnes – Watch it live https://www.twitch.tv/nubbinsgoody2017-12-30T23:13:26Z
Neubauer also set a world record of 300,000 Tetris points on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) with a time of one minute and 50 seconds. Apparently he tried to break the world record for the fastest time to exceed 100 lines in the game, but instead accidentally hit the 300K point record.
His record of 300K points is currently ranked 6th in the world by speedrun.com. He’s connected to the Korean Koryan player.
As for his record of 100 lines, his time of three minutes and nine seconds puts him in second place on the world rankings, tied to the JdMfX_ user.
He took second place with Heather for a flawless two-player speed race through the streets of Rage on Sega Genesis for Easy, Normal and Hard difficulty.
Neubauer’s wife, Heather, is world champion himself and won the world championship Mario Doctors in 2019.
3. The exact cause of death is still unclear.
I repeat this announcement of Jonas Neubauer’s Discord waiter, written directly by his wife Heather. Rest in peace, an absolute legend of a man. ️#CTWC pic.twitter.com/WzldWqhTpa
– HPT | Luxsy ➡️ Comms Open 😀 (@Luxsy4U) January 9, 2021.
A user of Neubauer’s Discord server shared a screenshot of a message from Heather about what happened when Neubauer died on Tuesday night.
On the second day in Hawaii they were reading on the couch when Neubauer got up to take something before he collapsed and never regained consciousness.
Streaming on Twitch has brought us both so much joy over the years and has allowed us to make great new friendships and have countless adventures, Heather said.
She said there’ll be more information about the cause of death soon.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that Neubauer was 60 years old when he died, when he was actually 40. An earlier version also stated that Tetris was released on the NES when Neubauer was nine years old, and that the release date was 1990, when the game was actually released on the NES in 1984.